Horizon: Post-coronavirus, how can we achieve food justice?

Horizon: Post-coronavirus, how can we achieve food justice?. “The coronavirus pandemic disrupted the global food system and emphasised its structural inequity – from unequal food distribution to workers in the system going hungry. Experts are calling for a reimagining of the way we produce and distribute food so that everyone can access quality food. Despite producing more food by volume than humanity has to date, millions of people remain food insecure. Agriculture is also a major contributor to environmental degradation and climate change.”

The Other Way Covid Will Kill: Hunger (New York Times)

New York Times: The Other Way Covid Will Kill: Hunger. “Long before the pandemic swept into her village in the rugged southeast of Afghanistan, Halima Bibi knew the gnawing fear of hunger. It was an omnipresent force, an unrelenting source of anxiety as she struggled to nourish her four children. Her husband earned about $5 a day, hauling produce by wheelbarrow from a local market to surrounding homes. Most days, he brought home a loaf of bread, potatoes and beans for an evening meal. But when the coronavirus arrived in March, taking the lives of her neighbors and shutting down the market, her husband’s earnings plunged to about $1 a day. Most evenings, he brought home only bread. Some nights, he returned with nothing.”

Meg’s choice: She could reopen her diner. But what about the hungry people she’s feeding? (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Meg’s choice: She could reopen her diner. But what about the hungry people she’s feeding?. “In the heart of this pandemic summer, some restaurants have yet to reopen, still struggling to find a workable way forward with diminished capacity or takeout only. Others tried to restart, only to shut down again as cases surged. And many more are gone forever — more than 20,000 restaurants have closed nationwide since the start of the pandemic, according to the National Restaurant Association, with tens of thousands more expected to close. In Lawrence’s downtown, nearly a third of the restaurants have either delayed reopening, reopened and then scuttled indoor dining — or closed all together. [Meg] Heriford faced an agonizing choice — should she try to reopen Ladybird Diner as it was, and if so, what about the people she’s feeding — the newly destitute families who come shyly, pushing their masked kids to the front of the line?”

Los Angeles Times: Food box deliveries to needy California seniors cut off because of USDA cheese rule

Los Angeles Times: Food box deliveries to needy California seniors cut off because of USDA cheese rule. “Tens of thousands of low-income California seniors stopped receiving home deliveries of free food just as COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state were peaking, thanks to a century-old federal policy to include surplus cheese in government aid packages.”

AP: A family struggle as pandemic worsens food insecurity

AP: A family struggle as pandemic worsens food insecurity. “At the peak of the coronavirus pandemic this spring, Sharawn Vinson often woke up crying. A recurring thought was making the unemployed single mother desperate: That her kids could go hungry. There was also fear of contracting the virus, which has disproportionately hit low-income Black families like hers. Meanwhile some of the largest protests against racial injustice in decades were transpiring right outside their window, after the family had experienced its own terrifying encounter with police earlier in the year. There were unpaid bills, and feelings of shame from having to go to a soup kitchen in search of a meal.”

Debt, eviction and hunger: Millions fall back into crisis as stimulus and safety nets vanish (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Debt, eviction and hunger: Millions fall back into crisis as stimulus and safety nets vanish. “Major recessions are especially fraught for low-income earners, whose finances can veer from tenuous to dire with one missed paycheck. But as the economy cratered this spring, economists and poverty experts were mildly surprised to discover that the torrent of government support that followed — particularly the $600 a week in expanded unemployment benefits and one-time $1,200 stimulus checks — likely lowered the overall poverty rate. In fact, 17 million people would have dropped below the poverty line without the $500 billion in direct intervention for American families, said Zach Parolin, a researcher at Columbia University. Now, data show, those gains are eroding as federal inaction deprives Americans on the financial margins of additional support.”

Coronavirus Kindness: East Bay youth organization creates free storefront to provide food to local community (ABC 7)

ABC 7: Coronavirus Kindness: East Bay youth organization creates free storefront to provide food to local community. “The Homies Empowerment Program is a grassroots, youth and community organization located in East Oakland and they are giving away essential goods to make food accessible to their community. ‘We are just doing what the community should do when times are tough,’ said Rogelio X., inventory coordinator of Homies Empowerment Program.”

Phys .org: Researchers examine food supply chain resiliency in the Pacific during COVID-19 pandemic

Phys .org: Researchers examine food supply chain resiliency in the Pacific during COVID-19 pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic exposes weaknesses in the supply chain when countries go into lockdown. Some are small, such as the toilet paper shortages early on, that, while annoying, were eventually resolved. But what happens when the effects of the pandemic reach the food systems of countries highly reliant on food imports and income from abroad, and commerce slows to a halt?”

‘Small victory’: Florida waives work requirements for food stamp recipients for another month (Tampa Bay Times)

Tampa Bay Times: ‘Small victory’: Florida waives work requirements for food stamp recipients for another month. “Facing a workforce still grappling with the coronavirus crisis, Florida officials said [July 28] that they would extend for another month a waiver of job search requirements residents must comply with so that they can get aid to buy food.”

Bloomberg: Almost 30 Million in U.S. Didn’t Have Enough to Eat Last Week

Bloomberg: Almost 30 Million in U.S. Didn’t Have Enough to Eat Last Week. “Food insecurity for U.S. households last week reached its highest reported level since the Census Bureau started tracking the data in May, with almost 30 million Americans reporting that they’d not had enough to eat at some point in the seven days through July 21. In the bureau’s weekly Household Pulse Survey, roughly 23.9 million of 249 million respondents indicated they had ‘sometimes not enough to eat’ for the week ended July 21, while about 5.42 million indicated they had ‘often not enough to eat.’ The survey, which began with the week ended May 5, was published Wednesday.”

Honolulu Civil Beat: The Pandemic Is Changing How Hawaii Gets Its Food

Honolulu Civil Beat: The Pandemic Is Changing How Hawaii Gets Its Food. “As Hawaii residents scramble to ride out the financial storm of COVID-19, a staggering number of people now find themselves facing food insecurity. As a result, many residents are acquiring food differently — trading and bartering for groceries, fishing or hunting more, planting gardens, scoring food giveaways from farms and buying produce from roadside tents or on Instagram and Facebook Marketplace.”

Columbia University: COVID-19 Will Affect Food and Financial Security of Many for Years to Come

Columbia University: COVID-19 Will Affect Food and Financial Security of Many for Years to Come. “The complex food shopping patterns that financially insecure families employ have been upended by the COVID-19 crisis. While increasing the maximum benefit for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) is an essential step in addressing the current food insecurity crisis, this policy change alone will not address many of the barriers low-income families are facing in acquiring food during the pandemic. To facilitate advocacy and policy change around this food insecurity crisis among children and families, researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health developed a web mapping tool that details states where SNAP shoppers can purchase groceries online and key SNAP policies related to food shopping during the pandemic.”

The Atlantic: It Didn’t Have to Be Like This

The Atlantic: It Didn’t Have to Be Like This. “The coronavirus outbreak has crippled the economies of most of the wealthy countries it has afflicted. But the particular desperation of American workers in its aftermath was not inevitable. It was the predictable impact of a series of policy decisions and missed opportunities in the past few decades that benefited the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. The food lines in San Antonio, and across the country, are an indictment of the past four decades of policy making. But it was Trump who vowed to confront a rigged system, to drain the swamp, to break the power of entrenched elites whose greed had left the American people behind. Instead, tens of millions of hardworking Americans were swiftly forgotten by the man who vowed to remember them.”

Phys .org: University students facing food insecurity due to pandemic

Phys .org: University students facing food insecurity due to pandemic. “A collaboration of universities in the U.K. and U.S. surveyed students on their levels of food insecurity during April, after universities in both nations ceased campus-based teaching. The preliminary findings outlined in the report, Food Insecurity and Lived Experiences of Students, reveal students have high levels of food insecurity and low levels of mental wellbeing, alongside a high level of lost jobs and income since the outbreak of COVID-19.”

Rolla Daily News: Area families can now locate summer food programs through online map

Rolla Daily News: Area families can now locate summer food programs through online map. “The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is supporting families in need during the COVID-19 public health emergency through the Summer Food Service Program…. The DHSS has provided an online interactive map to help families in Missouri find out where their children can receive free meals this summer. In Phelps County Newburg R-II School District at 701 Wolf Pride Drive is participating in the Summer Food Service Program.”